Airbnb to expand medical housing programme worldwide

Worldwide: Airbnb has announced its intent to expand its medical support programme across the world.

The programme, currently active in Italy and France, connects medical workers fighting the Covid-19 outbreak with hosts offering temporary housing.

Airbnb hopes to provide full housing for the 100,000 professionals caring for the infected while allowing them to maintain self-isolation. The company will waive fees for stays arranged through the initiative, allowing relief workers to focus on care.

Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said: “We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times.”

Currently over 6,000 hosts are currently working in Italy and France to provide housing for medics, but the company plans to expand by working with non-profits and emergency services. They have connected with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps and other major non-profits as is.

International Medical Corps CEO Nancy Aossey said: “This commitment will help International Medical Corps house our frontline health workers and first responders as our teams address the global Covid-19 pandemic, reaching hot-spot and low-resource areas in the US and around the world.”

By connecting with these groups the company has developed a new set of standards for preventative safety. Airbnb has tapped epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant to lead the new standards, working with his firm Pandefense.

Brilliant said: “While science is still developing around Covid-19, and there is a lot we do not know, we have provided guidance to support the Airbnb community participating in immediate efforts with governments and institutions. As medical and relief workers require accommodation for response and preparedness, the Airbnb community is in a unique position to help.”

Airbnb is also launching a donation tool to accompany the effort, allowing users to donate to relief work.

To learn more or sign up, follow the link here.